High School Football
By Brandon Hurley
CEDAR FALLS – While the high school career for Greene County quarterback Daric Whipple is well in the rear view mirror, he still has one more opportunity to compete in a high school-sanctioned game before enrolling in Ames.
The Iowa State University preferred walk-on recruit will take the field for the 44th annual Iowa Shrine Bowl All-Star game at 4 p.m. Saturday in at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.
“Playing in the Shrine Bowl, as my last official high school game is something very special,” Whipple said. “I realize this game is not about myself or even the other players. This game is about helping raise money for the Shriner’s Hospital and these kids that can’t do all the things they would love to do."
Ninety-two student-athletes throughout the state of Iowa were selected to represent their high schools in a game between the state’s top-tier players. The game is split into North and South squads. Whipple is a member of the South team.
Each player sells advertising and tickets for the game.
The Iowa Shrine Bowl has raised over $2,268,000 for The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. Funds are generated by ticket sales, advertising, merchandise, cash donations and sponsorships.
“I am thankful for my ability to play a sport that I love. So, being able to help in a small part to give back is great,” the Greene County grad said.
Whipple has spent the last few days practicing with his temporary teammates and hosting a camp for the children of the Shriner’s Hospitals.
“Being able to share something I love with those kids will be a great experience,” Whipple said Monday evening. “It already has been a humbling experience and only going on day two of practices. What the Shriner’s have done for this event is amazing.”
As a senior, Whipple compiled 2,509 total yards from scrimmage and 31 touchdowns during the 2015 season, leading the Rams to a 4-5 record, earning him Class 3A All-State honors.
Whipple threw for 1,508 yards 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as Greene County’s quarterback in 2015.
He was nearly as, if not more effective, on the ground, carrying the ball 169 times for 1,101 yards and 14 touchdowns, including a staggering 95 yard touchdown in a 49-42 win over Boone Oct. 16, placing himself as the team’s leading passer and rusher.
Whipple threw for 3,125 yards in his career and 29 touchdowns and rushed for 1,635 yards and 22 touchdowns in three seasons as varsity quarterback.
“I am looking forward to going out and representing my school and the Shriner’s hospital who do so much for these kids that may never see their dreams filled out,” Whipple said. “It is going to be an amazing experience as it is my first time playing a game in the dome. I am very excited and am extremely blessed to have this opportunity.”
Whipple was recruited to the Cyclone program as a running back, but he feels he has a shot at transitioning to a receiver or defensive back.
The 5’11, 190 athlete also drew interest from the University of Iowa, Northern Iowa, Drake, and Kansas State. He also made waves with his baseball talents. Schools such as Grand View, Dordt, Dubuque and Minnesota State recruited him to play on the diamond. His 40-yard dash time is listed at 4.50.
Saturday’s all-star festivities will be Whipple’s last chance to represent the Greene County Rams though he has already spent some time practicing with new ISU head coach, Matt Campbell. Whipple officially committed to Iowa State in February of this year and began practicing with the team last month.
“I am just very thankful to have this opportunity,” Whipple said. “I have been working hard since June at ISU and being able to get into the ‘game atmosphere’ again is always a rush. I love to compete so this is an added bonus to Cyclone practices.”